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Keystone XL oil pipeline: GOP lawmakers prod Donald Trump to fight court ruling that halted project

December 17, 2018

Capitol Hill Republicans are calling for action from President Trump to get construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline back on track after a federal judge in Montana blocked the project last week.

In a letter to the president, the lawmakers urged him to “take every practicable step to get this project over the finish line.”

The 44 GOP lawmakers who signed the Dec. 14 letter did not spell out what they wanted Mr. Trump to do to restart construction.

The White House did not immediately respond.

One of Mr. Trump’s first acts as president was reviving the cross-country pipeline project that was killed by the Obama administration because of climate change concerns.

Nearly two years later, a federal district judge in Montana halted the project, saying the Trump administration didn’t do a full analysis of the environmental impact.

“This comes despite extensive review by the previous Administration saying the pipeline will have minimal environmental impact and generate significant economic benefits,” wrote the lawmakers.

They cited the job and economic boosts from the pipeline, which were the same factors that drove Mr. Trump’s decision to revive the energy infrastructure project.

“The Keystone XL pipeline will bring nearly 6600 high paying jobs in the near-term and nearly $4 billion in new capital investment next year alone,” they wrote. “While we sincerely appreciate your strong leadership on this issue, we write now to encourage that leadership and attention to continue so that this important infrastructure project can become a reality.”

The pipeline project by at the TransCanada Corp would carry heavy crude from Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. The pipeline would split to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and U.S. Gulf Coast or to shipping terminals in the Gulf.

Environmentalists, tribal groups and ranchers have been fighting the Keystone XL project for more than a decade.

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